Gratitude is one of those trendy buzz words that we hear a lot about lately. Beyond its current cool factor, what does it mean and does it have long-lasting benefits on our quality of life?
Let’s start with a simple meaning. If you look in the good old fashioned dictionary, gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”.
According to the website psychologytoday.com, there are seven scientifically-proven benefits of gratitude.
Having gratitude …
- opens the door to more relationships, by showing appreciation you can win new friends
- improves physical health, with grateful people experiencing fewer aches and pains
- improves psychological health, by reducing a multitude of toxic emotions such as envy, resent, frustration and regret
- enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- helps people sleep better
- improves self-esteem
- increases mental strength, particularly from the perspective of reducing stress
Sounds pretty good, but how do we go about incorporating it into our lives? The article, 10 Little Ways to Work More Gratitude Into Your Life by Elizabeth Enochs echos her personal thoughts on gratitude and some great tips. The easiest being, live in the moment, make time to help others, think about what you have instead of what you want, make time for your favourite people and say thank you a lot!
That all sounds easy! Wait there’s more.
These tips will require you to take action but the benefits listed above are worth it.
- Start a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes each day writing down the things you’re thankful for.
- Create a gratitude ritual. Talk about what you’re grateful for at the dinner table or make it habit to tell your partner what you’re thankful for before you go to sleep.
- Make a gratitude wall. Write down the things you’re grateful for on sticky notes and put them on a designated area on the wall (or a door or a mirror) so you can be reminded of all the good things you have in life.
- Write one thank you note per day. Decide that you’re going to write emails or thank you notes to people. Appreciate your service providers, strangers, and friends and family alike and both of you will benefit from your gratitude.
We could all benefit from being more thankful and now we know how. So why not grab that journal, go help someone in need, have a coffee with a favourite friend or simply list all the things you are grateful for and reap the rewards. And before you go, thanks for listening!
Want to read more of Editorials? Put the kettle on and click on one below.